Olympic 5000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot lines up for her second marathon, while Getu Feleke leads the men’s entries at the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon
Dewi Griffiths will be looking to continue his fine current form as he steps up to race over the marathon distance for the first time at the 36th Mainova Frankfurt Marathon on Sunday (October 29).
The 26-year-old clocked 61:33 at the Cardiff University/Cardiff Half Marathon earlier this month for a time which took 80 seconds off his previous best set at the Simplyhealth Great North Run three weeks before to move from equal 64th to 13th on the UK all-time list.
Prior to that he had run 28:47 to win the Cardiff 10K before a UK-leading 28:27 for the runner-up spot at the Admiral Swansea Bay 10K. On the track the Welshman clocked PBs over 3000m, 5000m and 10,000m during the summer as he works towards his target of competing in both the 5000m and 10,000m at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games next April.
Among those joining Griffiths on the start line in Frankfurt will be Ethiopia’s Getu Feleke, who is the quickest on paper with a 2:04:50 PB from 2012, and Germany’s Arne Gabius, who has a best of 2:08:33.
Last year’s champion Mark Korir of Kenya, who ran 2:06:48 for victory in 2016 and has a PB of 2:05:49 from Paris in 2015, returns to defend his title, while last year’s runner-up Martin Kosgey of Kenya, whose best is 2:07:22, will be looking to go one place better.
The women’s race will see Olympic 5000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot back in marathon action. The Kenyan ran 2:23:50 on her marathon debut in London earlier this year but will face five athletes who have gone faster.
“I am grateful to have been invited to run my second marathon in Frankfurt,” Cheruiyot said at a pre-event press conference. “I have prepared for this race for three months and my shape is the same as it was before my debut in London in April.
“My aim is to run a personal best. I know that this is a fast course and I believe that Frankfurt provided the best opportunity for me this autumn. I go into the race with a good feeling.”
According to race organisers, Cheruiyot plans for a half-way split time of 70 minutes. “The perfect result for me would then be to run the second half again in 70 or even 69 minutes,” she added, with the course record currently standing at 2:21:01 by Ethiopia’s Meselech Melkamu from 2012.
Ethiopia’s Feyse Tadese leads the entries with her PB of 2:20:27, while her compatriot Abebech Afework ran 2:25:34 in Australia in July and has a PB of 2:23:33.
Germany’s Fate Tola (2:25:14) and Katharina Heinig (2:28:34) are also among the entries, as is USA’s Sara Hall (2:28:26).
Among the British athletes in action is Team Bath’s Rebecca Hilland, who has a PB of 2:39:45 and won the recent Manchester Half Marathon in 75:39, just one second off her PB.
Around 14,500 participants are expected to take part in the IAAF Gold Label Road Race.
The SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon also takes place on Sunday and there Laura Graham of Mourne Runners and Sergiu Ciobanu of Clonliffe Harriers will be looking to retain their national titles.
Kenya’s Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon winner Bernard Rotich is among the entries along with 2015 Dublin Marathon winners Alemu Gemechu of Ethiopia and Nataliya Lehonkova of Ukraine.
Around 20,000 runners are expected to start the event on Merrion Square South.
The event is set to be live streamed here.